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Waste production/ generation/ recycling

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As European society has grown wealthier, it is generating more and more waste. It is clear that treating and disposing of all this material – without harming the environment – becomes one of the main environmental problems.
Waste prevention is closely linked with improving manufacturing methods and better use of resources, influencing consumers to demand greener products and less packaging.

This impact area is further specified by the taxonomy terms: Waste Generation and Waste Treatment or Recycling.

Relevant Policies

The EU waste policy as well as the related legal requirements and targets are based on a concept of the waste hierarchy: waste generation should be prevented or reduced, and that which is generated should be recovered by means of re-use, recycling and other recovery operations, thus reducing disposal/landfilling operations.
The EU Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC establishes a legal framework for the treatment of waste within EU. It aims at protecting the environment and human health through the prevention of the harmful effects of waste generation and waste management.
The EU Thematic Strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste addresses addresses waste prevention as one of the priority issues. According to the Strategy, although waste prevention has been the paramount objective of both national and EU waste management policies for many years, limited progress has been made in transforming this objective into practical action. Neither the Community nor the national targets set in the past have been satisfactorily met. As a result, the Strategy concludes that prevention can only be achieved by influencing practical decisions taken at various stages of the life cycle: how a product is designed, manufactured, made available to the consumer and finally used.
This text is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace any reference documents.

Legal basis for the Commission to act


Web Resources

The European Commission's site on waste policy:
The European Commission's site on Integrated Product Policy:
The European Commission's site on the 'Thematic Strategy on the prevention and recycling of waste':
European Environment Agency, waste and material resources:



Related Terms

Circular Economy

Waste Generation

Waste Treatment or Recycling.

Publications and applications

Titel Type of practice Updated date
Assessment of Policy Interrelationships and Impacts on Sustainability in Europe - The APRAISE 3E method Project 2014-02-19 11:29
Do Policy Impact Assessment Processes Promote Environmental Policy Integration? Project 2014-02-27 18:05
European Research for Impact Assessment Tools Publication 2014-04-17 14:41
IA Report: Communication on Winning the Battle against Global Climate Change Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-05 11:40
IA Report: Energy Efficiency Plan 2011 (2011) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-27 13:30
IA Report: General Union Environment Action Programme to 2020 "Living well, within the limits of our planet" (2012) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-25 18:26
IA report: Mid-term review on the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-03 22:29
IA Report: Proposal for a Directive amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (2012) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-25 18:31
IA Report: Proposal for a Regulation on ship recycling (2012) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-25 18:34
IA Report: Renewable Energy Road Map Application of a Model or Method 2013-09-03 20:22
IA Report: Roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Community (2011) Application of a Model or Method 2013-07-29 15:54
The Policy-Relevancy of Impact Assessment Tools: Evaluating Nine Years of European Research Funding Publication 2014-07-09 16:32
Tools for environmental impact assessment process - developing a tool EIA in Poland Project 2013-10-29 13:29

Content for this term

Title Type Updated date
E3ME Model 2014-04-23 15:36
Peterson, Kaja Expert 2014-03-05 09:38
Waste production/ generation/ recycling Impact Area 2014-04-30 16:57
Werland, Stefan Expert 2014-03-05 09:48